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Old 03-02-2018, 10:54 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Rub Rail Leaks

Hi Skoolies!

This is officially my first post but I've been reading for a while. We were full steam ahead but then LEEEEAKS. They were coming in behind a few walls so we thought they were the seams at first... Our roof is sealed (4 coats of solar flex) but by using a water hose we have isolated at least one leak to the rub rail.

Has anyone else had this problem? The rivets look good and no signs of rust. Thank you so much for any help or experience you might be able to offer.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:03 PM   #2
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It is not uncommon for the rub rails to hide full rust through. Unless they were thoroughly sealed at the factory, they can hold a lot of water.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:17 PM   #3
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So good to know...The bus had very minimal rust anywhere but it sounds like we need to remove them to get a good look...We took a water hose down both sides and all the leaks are coming in at the rub rails. Good news is the windows are solid! ha!
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
It is not uncommon for the rub rails to hide full rust through. Unless they were thoroughly sealed at the factory, they can hold a lot of water.
We debated just cleaning and sealing them up today but if there is rust like you said, we may need to treat and seal underneath also. They are all riveted on so we have quite a bit more problem solving to do. I so appreciation your help!
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by andreap View Post
We debated just cleaning and sealing them up today but if there is rust like you said, we may need to treat and seal underneath also. They are all riveted on so we have quite a bit more problem solving to do. I so appreciation your help!
Sorry if im missing something by a quick chime in, but if you're interior walls are already down, getting the rub rails off to do surface treatment and rust repair should be too bad. Just time consuming because of the number of rivets. I would suspect if you have access to an air compressor that an air hammer with a fine point tip would make quick work of it.

Rub rails are one of the things I'll be doing whenever I get my bus. Pull them down, make any repairs needed to the body and the rails, and do prep for paint. Then when they get reinstalled have a bead of seam sealer on them to keep them from getting any build up inside and just repeating the problem.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Yuuyia_Takahashi View Post
Sorry if im missing something by a quick chime in, but if you're interior walls are already down, getting the rub rails off to do surface treatment and rust repair should be too bad. Just time consuming because of the number of rivets. I would suspect if you have access to an air compressor that an air hammer with a fine point tip would make quick work of it.

Rub rails are one of the things I'll be doing whenever I get my bus. Pull them down, make any repairs needed to the body and the rails, and do prep for paint. Then when they get reinstalled have a bead of seam sealer on them to keep them from getting any build up inside and just repeating the problem.
Super helpful! I think you are right and we need to pull them down for now before we continue with floors. The interior walls are pulled off but you can't see the rivets through the wall so may just be chiseling them off? Will keep y'all posted. Thanks again for your input!
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:27 PM   #7
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I, too have this task ahead of me very soon. What are your opinions about: 1) just sealing the top of the rub rails so that any moisture has a way out the bottom; and
2) re-installing with stainless screws instead of rivets?? If not, what type rivets are recommended?
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
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My '46 body was made by Wayne. And for reasons that defy logic (it was otherwise well constructed)...they applied zero paint under the rub rails. No primer...no nuthin'. I soon discovered the outer side panels were completely rusted through under most of the upper rail. Wound up just cutting off everything from that point down and fabbing new panels.


Let's hope you fair better.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:40 PM   #9
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My '46 body was made by Wayne. And for reasons that defy logic (it was otherwise well constructed)...they applied zero paint under the rub rails. No primer...no nuthin'. I soon discovered the outer side panels were completely rusted through under most of the upper rail. Wound up just cutting off everything from that point down and fabbing new panels.


Let's hope you fair better.
WOA!! I am so sorry to hear that!! another reason to pull them off to see what you are working with. I will keep ya'll updated for sure. So glad to isolate where the water is coming in but sure didn't anticipate rub rails! such is the bus life
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
My '46 body was made by Wayne. And for reasons that defy logic (it was otherwise well constructed)...they applied zero paint under the rub rails. No primer...no nuthin'. I soon discovered the outer side panels were completely rusted through under most of the upper rail. Wound up just cutting off everything from that point down and fabbing new panels.


Let's hope you fair better.
I guess when they made they didn't figure you would be using it 72 years later
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:57 AM   #11
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I don't think any of these rigs were supposed to still be on the road after so much time.

But...before ripping off the rails...if you plan on pulling off the interior walls, you will be able to get an idea of the metals condition from the inside. If no rust through, maybe drill a few holes and liberally spray some rust converter inside the rails then seal on the outside with some seam sealer before painting.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:53 AM   #12
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Thanks guys!

Quick update...We tried removing some rivets on a section to get a look underneath but had ZERO success...even with an air hammer/ chisel. We also applied some eternabond on one section which didn't work due to all of the curves. Our next attempt is to use Sikaflex liberally around the tops and side seams...

will keep you posted but does anyone know of a type of seal that can be applied/ sprayed on before paining? Someone mentioned a membrane of some sort?

For now we moved on to another project to feel a bit of success with something. ha!!
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:56 AM   #13
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You cannot do better than OEM Seam Sealer. 3M makes some as well as a few others. Available online or at most auto paint & body supply houses. Stays flexible, seals tight and is fully paintable.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:04 PM   #14
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You cannot do better than OEM Seam Sealer. 3M makes some as well as a few others. Available online or at most auto paint & body supply houses. Stays flexible, seals tight and is fully paintable.
That's what we are hoping for! We used some 3M on the roof panels when we replaced the hatches and it was great. Sikaflex was our next purchase only because of the price difference and it seemed to get equally good reviews. I will let you know how it turns out but appreciate your help so much!
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